The most underrated component of any weight or fat loss program may be the amount of good, quality sleep that you are getting in on a regular basis. A number of studies show that people who tend to get the suggested 7-8 hours of sleep each night are more successful with weight and fat loss. Getting an adequate amount of sleep helps regulate hormones, such as cortisol and growth hormone, that are going to have a big impact on your weight loss. In addition to controlling hormones getting 7-8 hours of sleep each night is going to aid in recovery, which will in turn enhance your training program.
If you are trying to get that 7-8 hours in each night, but are unable to do so, here are some tips that may help:
- Tune out: An hour before you plan on getting to bed, put the paperwork away, get off the computer and shut down your cell phone.
- Lights out: Make your room dark. Block out as much light as possible, turn off the TV and leave your cell phone or other lit up objects in another room.
- Get to bed at the same time: Whenever possible try to get to bed around the same time each night. Also, the sooner you can get to bed before midnight, the better. Each hour before midnight equals two hours after midnight.
- Cut back on the caffeine: If you are one of those who gets that buzzed feeling from caffeine, limit your caffeine intake.
- Supplement: Deficiencies in zinc and magnesium are pretty common and in turn can lead to poor sleep quality. If you are not getting enough zinc and magnesium through your dietary intake you may want to consider supplementation with either one or both.